Washington State Healthcare Executives Forum

Winter 2015

President's Message

by Karin Larson-Pollock, M.D.

ACHE Colleagues –

In my organization, we begin each meeting with a reflection, which serves as a moment to ground ourselves. So as we enter into the holiday season and wrapping up 2015, here is mine.

It is easy to get caught up in the craziness of the holidays and the planning for the upcoming year. May you all take the time to reflect on your successes, learn from/laugh about your mistakes, and make sure to carve out time in your life for the things that provide value to you. Take a look at your calendar – does it reflect what is important to you?

Many of you know that what is important to me is saying “thank you,” and showing appreciation for those who go out of their way to do what they do. As I wind down my WSHEF presidency, I would like to thank the WSHEF Board of Directors, committee members, student representatives and the many volunteers who have helped make our very busy 2015 a successful one. From the local Meet & Mingles throughout the year to larger educational events like the Board of Governors Exam study group in January-February, Washington State Legislative Update in April, Futures Conference in June, ACHE Seattle Cluster in July and our annual chapter breakfast in October – it has been a busy year for WSHEF!  We couldn’t have done it without the countless hours of work behind the scenes to ensure success. I would especially like to thank Sandy Slater-Duncan and Steve Saxe, two of our board members who have reached their term limit on the board. They have been incredible sources of historical knowledge and guidance, and I speak on behalf of the chapter when I say a huge “thank you” for their decade (each) of service. Having said that, please join me in welcoming Sandy Slater-Duncan in a new role for the chapter, as our Washington state Regent. Her term will begin after Congress, 2016. 

BOARD ELECTIONS: It is my pleasure to announce our new incoming WSHEF BOD members: President-Elect Dina O’Leary and board members Pam Rock and Ryan Sundquist, who will begin their terms of office on January 1, 2016.  The full board will convene for our annual strategic planning session January 29, 2016. Our focus: how do we bring value to our WSHEF members? As we finalize our 2016 calendar of events, we want to hear from you! 

UPCOMING DATES Q12016: We plan to host Meet & Mingle in the Puget Sound area in January, a co-sponsored Diversity event in January/February and potentially a Meet & Mingle in March for those who are unable to attend Congress (March 14-17, 2016). More information coming soon. Meet & Mingle planning is starting soon for Bellevue and Everett for 2016, so let us know if you’d like to be part of the planning for either of those events!

THANK YOU: This is my last President’s Message as I hand over our proverbial chapter “gavel” to our incoming WSHEF President, Martin Benning. It has been an honor serving you this past year and I look forward to continuing my work with the Board as Past President.


Karin M Larson-Pollock, MD, MBA, FACHE
WSHEF President 2015

Message from Your ACHE Regent


Recent times have been marked by change, successful events, school visits, getting ready for the annual ACHE Congress and recognition within our membership.
First, I would like to sincerely thank Stephen P. Zieniewicz, FACHE for his service as Regent for Washington (2013-2015).  We wish him the best in his new endeavors in New Jersey. It is my pleasure to finish Steve’s term as Regent since August and through Congress in March 2016. I look forward to the transition with our newly elected Regent Sandra L. Slater-Duncan, FACHE.
I was pleased to participate in the recent ACHE Leadership Conference in Chicago where it was great to have William P. (Bill) Reid, FACHE representing our state chapter. The annual ACHE Breakfast meeting was a great success, and I wish to thank the chapter board for their work and coordination to make this a successful event. We recently reached another milestone, completing our visits to 100 percent of the Health Education Network schools in the state of Washington, which includes:

• Undergraduate programs at Eastern Washington University and University of Washington/Tacoma Branch
• Graduate programs at Washington State University and University of Washington/Seattle

I appreciate the assistance of Sandy Slater-Duncan, FACHE in conducting two of those visits.

Congress is coming up and I encourage everyone to consider attending this amazing event March 14–17, 2016. Congress always features excellent educational opportunities, networking and career services are available for students, early careerists, and senior executives. In addition, it’s a good time to look at 2016 cluster opportunities to obtain ACHE Face-to-Face Education credits.
I have been honored to be a Fellow for the past 19 years and suggest that another step forward for many of you is considering advancing to Fellow. There are tremendous resources and support for advancing, so please consider a commitment to yourself and your career by achieving Fellow status.

One of the pleasures of the ACHE Breakfast is recognizing members who have excelled in service to ACHE. The Regent’s Award is in recognition of significant contributions towards the achievement of the goals of ACHE and the advancement of Healthcare Management Excellence. It was my honor to present the 2015 Regent’s Award to Karin Larson-Pollock, MD, FACHE, Senior Director Value Analytics and Care Systems at Providence Regional Medical Center/Everett. Karin is our current Chapter President. Also receiving the award was Andrea Z. Turner, FACHE, Chief Clinical Services Division at Madigan Army Medical Center. Andrea is Past President and served in numerous roles in support of ACHE and the chapter. Congratulations to both of them for this well-deserved recognition.

I would like to also acknowledge Washington State members who have recently advanced to Fellow:

Levi Anderson, FACHE
Susan M. Manfredi, ND, FACHE
Marlon K. Borbon, FACHE

And members who have recertified as Fellow:

 Katherine J. Bell, FACHE
 Richard E. Cohan, FACHE
 Andrew B. Cosentino, FACHE
 Jeanell M. Rasmussen, RN, FACHE
 Carol Skowronski, FACHE
 Lance E. Welch, FACHE
 Drexel DeFord, FACHE
 Glenn S. Kasman, FACHE

If I can be of any service to you as members, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will continue to work closely with WSHEF, our state chapter and its leadership in advancing the mission of ACHE here in Washington. There is plenty of work to do, so if you’re so inclined please get involved and make a difference. 

For more information:

Gregg Agustín Davidson, FACHE
Regent for Washington

The Secrets to Career Fulfillment

Come Monday morning, employees can yearn for the upcoming weekend and feel unmotivated and unhappy. However, research shows having a positive attitude about the week can greatly increase the success level and feeling of content for employees. In a survey of 850,000 people conducted by The Conference Board—a research group—researchers found those satisfied with their jobs tend to start the week off energized and motivated. Below are a few things fulfilled employees do differently. 

Cut Back on the Small Talk

Matthias Mehl, a psychology professor at the University of Arizona, found people who engage in deep discussions, as opposed to small talk, are happier. This is because human beings are driven to find and create meaning in their lives. People who are more talkative can make themselves happier and more successful by focusing their discussions on substantive work issues and cutting back on short, meaningless conversations. You should strive to incorporate just one more thoughtful conversation each day regarding a work issue and avoid at least one small-chatter session. 

Avoid People Who Complain

Typically, there tends to be a group of people who complain about many aspects of their employing organization. However, complaining with no solution in mind is a dangerous habit. Sometimes just thinking more positively can create a better outlook on your position and organization. Search out ways to be authentically positive such as praising a coworker’s accomplishment or a team’s achievement of project goals. 

Make Every Assignment a Challenge

Start looking at each large project not only as a way to get things done but as an opportunity to learn and expand your skill set. Doing more than what is required, such as researching industry trends related to the project, talking with colleagues for best practices and creating innovative ideas, can improve both your project and your organization. The amount and quality of work you contribute to your company will likely be valued, and even on the slim chance it’s not, intrinsically you will feel better about yourself by knowing you gave a project your all.

Find a Strong Mentor

Every great employee needs that extra push to acknowledge what he or she is truly capable of. This typically means finding someone who can instruct, guide and push you to be your best. Obtaining a mentor, whether that be a boss, senior colleague or even a family member, can help you to excel in your work. To find someone who will be the most beneficial to you, ensure there is trust in the relationship, the proposed mentor has sufficient time and there is good chemistry. Once a mentorship is created, ask the coach to help you understand what success looks like; and have him assess your strengths and weaknesses and define the next steps in your career. 

Stay Committed

Some people looking for lifetime fulfillment will leave their jobs or stray from a secure path in order to find themselves. However, before jumping ship, a recommended strategy is to trying to bring a purpose to your current role. Take a long look at your position and find what differences you could make in your role or what you could do to challenge yourself more. Have regular conversations with managers, peers, family members and mentors who can give a valuable opinion. Also consider activities outside of work such as volunteering or new hobbies to obtain greater fulfilment.

  —Adapted from “5 Stealth Ways to Make Monday Better,” by Chester Elton, www.inc.com


Managing a Workforce of Multiple Generations

For the first time in history, five generations—traditionalists, baby boomers, millennials, Gen X and Gen 2020—will soon be working side by side. Whether this multigenerational working environment feels productive and energizing or challenging and stressful is up to the organization’s leadership. Ideas to keep in mind are how to relate to employees from different age groups and how to motivate and encourage employees.  

Straight From the Experts

As people work for longer periods of time, internal career paths start to change. It’s becoming common to see someone younger managing someone older, which can lead to tension on both sides. “It’s important to be aware of general tension among colleagues,” says Jeanne C. Meister, a founding partner of Future WorkPlace—an executive development firm. “It’s your job to help your employees recognize that they have distinct sets of different things they bring to the table.”

Don’t Dwell on Differences

Generational stereotypes abound both inside and outside of the working environment. However, creating generation-based employee affinity groups is not beneficial to your organization, instead get to know each person individually as opposed to lumping them into a group with people their age. 

Build Beneficial Relationships

Managing someone older than you can seem like a daunting task, but it’s something the military routinely practices. The way to make this successful is to make the older employee a partner—involve them in everything you do, as well as hearing them out. You’re still making the decisions, but this way they feel involved. This type of collaborative effort also works well in managing workers in their 20s. Encourage debate to ease the transition from school to the workplace. 

Study Your Employees

By studying the demographics of your employees, you can determine what they want out of their jobs and how these desires differ (or not) from generation to generation. Conducting a survey inquiring about communication styles, career goals and other topics is a low-cost way to get a pulse on your workforce. Figure out what matters to different groups of employees and what you can do to attract younger or more experienced workers; it’s an easy way to discover potential generational career issues. 

Engage in Cross-Generational Mentoring

Pairing younger workers with experienced employees to work on business objectives—typically revolving around technology—is becoming more prevalent in companies across the nation. The younger employee can teach the older worker about social media, while the seasoned employee can share institutional knowledge with the young worker. Studies show colleagues learn more from each other than they would in formal training. Mixed-age work teams are another way to foster cross-generational mentoring. 

Consider Work Goals

Keep in mind where your employees are at in their lives and what their needs are when it comes to inspiring and incentivizing them. Younger people may not have many outside responsibilities—they are motived by new experiences and opportunities. Employees in their 30s and 40s often have children and mortgages and need flexibility as well as advancement opportunities; while those at the end of their careers may not be as interested in training but would enjoy a strong work-life balance. Understanding these desires will go a long way in figuring out how to challenge and motivate employees. 

—Adapted from “Managing People From 5 Generations,” by Rebecca Knight, Harvard Business Review Blog Network 



Member Announcements

Welcome New WSHEF Members: 


 Mandy C. Bishop, Puyallup

 CPT Wilbur F. Boothby, DPM, Spanaway

 Sharayah Y. Farrell, Tacoma

 Christopher Galster, Spokane

 Laura A. Nelson, Lake Tapps

 Joyce Szymanski, Seattle

 Christopher S. Thoming, MD, Vancouver

 Dawn M. Vincic, Seattle



 Rick Armstrong, Newcastle

 Eva Bailey, Seattle

 Silvia Bowker, Pullman

 Mike Gaulke, Kennewick

 Briana Ledesma, Seattle

 Nicholas L. Malos, Yakima

 David Rettig, Seattle

 Jakki Stodola, Tacoma

 Daniel Swenson, Fairchild AFB


Congratulations to Members who Advanced to Fellows or Recently Recertified: 


New Fellows:


Renate Atkins, RN, FACHE, Camas


Recertified Fellows



 Rosalee Allan, FACHE, Newman Lake

 LT Micheal P. Bowers, FACHE, Anacortes

 Chris A. Grippo, FACHE, Olympia

 James W. Kammerer, FACHE, University Place

 Karin Larson-Pollock, MD, FACHE, Mercer Island

 Mary J. McHugh, FACHE, Seattle

 Pamela R. Rock, FACHE, Seattle


 William H. Campbell, MD, FACHE, Lakewood

 Vikki L. Noyes, FACHE, Wenatchee

 James Santucci, FACHE, Edmonds

 Dorothy L. Sawyer, FACHE, Newman Lake

 Charles G. Tirrell, FACHE, Spokane

 Rachel J. Todd, FACHE, Mill Creek

UW Executive MHA and Medical Management Programs

For your professional development!

The University of Washington's Graduate Programs in Health Services Administration offers healthcare professionals two options for increasing their management and leadership skills: the Executive Master of Health Administration Program (MHA), and the Certificate Program in Medical Management (CPMM).

Both programs are designed for those who want to meet the need for skilled leaders in the ever-changing healthcare delivery system. Physicians, nurses, other experienced clinical practitioners, and health service managers enter these programs to become more effective leaders and meet the increasingly challenging expectations of the patients and families, stakeholders, and communities they serve.

The Executive MHA Program has a 24-month format that combines three-day intensive on-site meetings with teleconferencing, independent assignments and team projects. Applications for admission have an annual deadline of April 30. For details, visit: http://www.uwexecutivemha.org.  

For details on the Medical Management Program, visit: http://www.pce.uw.edu/certificates/medical-management.html

To ask questions about either program, contact Maggie Helsel, the program coordinator, at mhap@u.washington.edu or 206-616-2947.

WSU Spokane MHPA program

If it is time to futher your education and earn a master's degree in health policy and administration, WSU offers an exciting program designed around a working professional's schedule. 


The Master of Health Policy and Administration (MHPA) degree is a vigorous, CAHME accredited, and personalized program that prepares future leaders in the dynamic and growing field of healthcare management. WSU HPA students enjoy small class sizes (12-20 students), which facilitate opportunities for strong and lasting relationships with both peers and professors. Students are required to participate in individual and group based projects and be actively engaged in class discussions. Additionally, students are provided valuable professional connections by networking with local healthcare professionals through site visits, guest lectures, student body events, and alumni events. 

A hallmark of the MHPA program is the completion of an internship. The required internship allows the student to gain leadership experience in the health care environment, explore the field, develop professional contacts, and contribute to career planning. The Department of Health Policy & Administration will help the student find an internship that meets your needs, or the student may arrange their own internship.  

Graduates of the program work in a wide range of career fields including hospital management, public health, managed care, group practice management, and financial management. Since 2013, 90% of WSU MHPA graduates secured employment within 3 months of graduation!

The program is ideal for working health care professionals who want to enhance their management skills or advance to management positions. To attract and accommodate our working professional students, our classes are offered from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., four days a week. Additionally, the program accommodates both full-time and part-time students. 

WSU Spokane’s Department of Health Policy and Administration is a proud member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) which provides waivers for out-of-state tuition in 16 states. For more information regarding WICHE, please visit www.wiche.edu.

To learn more about the MHPA program, visit: http://spokane.wsu.edu/admissions/HPA/ or contact the Academic Coordinator, Robin Durfee, at robin.durfee@wsu.edu or 509.358.7987.

ACHE: Become Board Certified in Healthcare Management

Ready to Advance to Fellow?

Why Board Certification - You want to go to board certified physicians for your care, so why not go to an organization with board certified healthcare executives. Earning the distinction of board certification as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives demonstrates your competence, dedication and commitment to lifelong learning. Visit ache.org/FACHE to learn more about Fellow requirements and apply online.

Advancement Information Session - Do you want to learn more about the value of board certification and the steps to completion? Then come to the Advancement Information Session sponsored by the Washington State Healthcare Executives Forum. There are two ways to participate. In-person or at your desk through a webinar. These sessions will be held twice annually. For more information about future information sessions you can contact Steve Saxe at smsaxe@comcast.net.




ACHE Tuition Waiver Assistance Program


To reduce the barriers to ACHE educational programming for ACHE members experiencing economic hardship, ACHE has established the Tuition Waiver Assistance Program.

ACHE makes available a limited number of tuition waivers to ACHE Members and Fellows whose organizations lack the resources to fund their tuition for education programs. Members and Fellows in career transition are also encouraged to apply. Tuition waivers are based on financial need and are available for the following ACHE education programs:

  • Congress on Healthcare Leadership
  • Cluster Seminars
  • Self-Study Programs
  • Online Education Programs
  • Online Tutorial (Board of Governors Exam preparation)
  • ACHE Board of Governors Exam Review Course

All requests are due no less than eight weeks before the program date, except for ACHE self-study courses; see quarterly application deadlines on the FAQ page of the tuition waiver application. Incomplete applications and applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Recipients will be notified of the waiver review panel's decision not less than six weeks before the program date. For ACHE self-study courses, applicants will be notified three weeks after the quarterly application deadline.

If you have questions about the program, please contact Teri Somrak, associate director, Division of Professional Development, at (312) 424-9354 or tsomrak@ache.org. For more information, visit ache.org/TuitionWaiver.

Your Career & Development - JOB BANKS

If you are a member of ACHE you have access to a robust, national job bank. It can be found at:

ACHE Job Bank

We are pleased to provide a link to the WA Healthcare News Job Bank. This is an excellent source of information about positions in our local geographic area. The available position list has also been extended recently to contain some positions in other parts of the country.

WA Healthcare News Job Bank

DELIVERY of WSHEF Newsletter (Disclaimer)


To ensure delivery of your chapter newsletter, please add info@wshef.ache.org to your email address book or Safe Sender List. If you are still having problems receiving our communications, see our white-listing page for more details:



2015-2016 Officers and Board Members

WSHEF Officers:

  • Karin Larson-Pollock, MD, FACHE, President
  • Martin Benning, FACHE, President-Elect
  • Andrea Zavos Turner, MHS, FACHE, Immediate Past President
  • Lori Nomura, JD, Secretary
  • Jim Cannon, MHA, FACHE, Treasurer

 WSHEF Board Members:

  • Scott Bond
  • Bill Reid, FACHE
  • Sandra Slater-Duncan, FACHE
  • Carol N. Velasquez, FACHE
  • Gregg Davidson, FACHE
  • Steven Saxe, FACHE
  • Jacqui Sinatra
  • Joel Flugstad

 ACHE Regent, Interim (District 5)

  • Gregg Davidson, FACHE

MILITARY Representative

  • Jonathan Evans 

         Term ongoing 


      University of Washington

  • Rachel Shangraw, MHA Candidate

         Term ends April 2016

      Washington State University

  • Chris Cleason, MHPA Candidate

         Term ends April 2016

WSHEF Vision & Values

To be the premier professional society connecting leaders in Washington State to learn, share, and transform health care.


To advance Washington state ACHE members' healthcare professional excellence through interaction and communication and fostering professional development.

As members of our Chapter, we are committed to:

We advocate and emulate high ethical conduct in all we do.

Lifelong Learning
We recognize lifelong learning is essential to our ability to innovate and continually improve ourselves, our organizations and our profession.

We lead through example and mentoring, and recognize caring must be a
cornerstone of our professional interactions.

We advocate inclusion and embrace the differences of those with whom we work
and the communities we serve.

We recognize service to our communities is an integral part of who we are as
healthcare professionals.

We take initiative to build partnerships in advancing professional
development within and outside of our healthcare community.


Our Goals
Service Excellence                                                                                                                    



Get Involved! WSHEF Board and Committees

Get Involved! VOLUNTEER!

WSHEF needs your help and expertise!

We want you to get the most out of being a member of our organization. How can you get involved?

Attend educational sessions and bring a colleague; promote ACHE and WSHEF membership in your organization.

Provide a venue for an event.

Volunteer and join a committee; suggest programming ideas.

Together we can develop relationships with other healthcare professionals, enhance our educational offerings, and address critical healthcare issues on local, state, and national levels.


WSHEF Committees and Chairs:

Programs Committee: Jacqui Sinatra and Joel Flugstad, Co-Chairs, wshef.programs@achemail.net

Communications Committee: Lori Nomura, Chair, wshef.communications@achemail.net

   Vandna Sharma Chaudhari, website Co-Chair

   Sue Miller, newsletter Co-Chair

Membership and Advancement Committee: Steve Saxe and Bill Reid, Co-Chairs, wshef.membership@achemail.net

Diversity Committee: Gregg Davidson and Daniel Montanez, Co-Chairs, wshef.diversity@achemail.net

For more information on WSHEF committees please see the website. 


Effective January 1, 2008, all ACHE members located within the chapter's assigned geographic territory are automatically members of the chapter as a benefit of being an ACHE member. Only ACHE members are eligible to hold membership in the chapter.
If you are not a current ACHE member, we encourage you to join by visiting the ACHE website. Nonmembers are welcome to attend chapter events. If you would like to be added to the chapter's nonmember mailing list to be notified of future programs and events, please send an email to info@wshef.ache.org.